Monday, September 9, 2013

Dreaming Disney - Walk in Walt's Disneyland Footsteps

Dreaming Disney - Walk in Walt's Disneyland Footsteps
The Disneyland Dedication Plaque - Kicks Off a Tour of Walt's Park

For years I have had my eyes on the “Walk in Walt’s Disneyland Footsteps” tour. And with our 2013 trip to Disneyland possibly being the last trip for awhile, I made it a priority to include this walking historical trip in this summer’s trip. And the deal was sealed after last summer’s trip when it was announced that Walt’s Apartment was added to the tour. But the my favorite moment was months earlier when the Between Tween informed me that I would have company on this tour, the Tween would not be left off this adventure.

The tour is a walking tour, and walk you do. Each guest is provided an ear bud to attach to one ear that carries the voice of the tour guide. The guide walked us all throughout the park, visiting each land and discussing Walt Disney’s connection to that land. The tour guide along with the script uses audio clips of Walt Disney, such as reading dedication plaques for the lands or portions of speeches he gave. So, despite the fact that Walt passed away decades ago, his presence and voice joins you throughout the tour. The facts themselves are probably not groundbreaking to students of park history. But hearing them as you stand where Walt stood has an impact. Additionally, my tour guide was more than a fact reader. My tour guide served as a storyteller who engaged the audience in the story of Walt Disney’s theme park.

I expected that we would get some real behind the scenes looks at attractions. Honestly we did not. You only experienced two attractions. For my tour, we cut the line and rode Peter Pan’s flight as a group. And we later visited Great Moment’s With Mr. Lincoln, after a lengthy discussion of the attractions meaning and connection to Walt Disney. Honestly, I do not know how we could have taken in more attractions in the nearly three hours we toured the park as we were constantly on the go. There was a lot of content in a short time.

Now there are two stops that do provide the Disney history fan the geek out experience. The first is a visit to Club 33, the exclusive dining club in the park. Guests on the tour are able to enter the first floor of the club, but do not go up the stairs to the dining room. With a full tour of 12 it is standing room only. But the guide made sure that everyone got a picture in front of the famous glass elevator. The big highlight of the tour though is Walt Disney’s Apartment. My group was broken into two smaller parties. I found out why when I entered the super small apartment, simply it is tiny. The majority of the apartment was behind a velvet rope. But we were able to walk around and look at the apartment from different angles, including the bathroom and it’s very futuristic shower, for the 1960s. Finally, our docent took a picture of each group standing in front of the rope with the front windows, and Walt’s lamp, the background. You really need to bring a camera if you spend the money for this tour, because these are photos you do not want to miss. The tour does cost over a $100 per guest. And the Between Tween and I did see this a money well spent.
Dreaming Disney - Walk in Walt's Disneyland Footsteps
Every Disney Fan Wants Behind This Door!

Dreaming Disney - Walk in Walt's Disneyland Footsteps
Now Only If I Was Invited Up The Stairs for Lunch!

Finally, our tour ended with lunch at the Jolly Holiday Bakery, where we had been able to pre-pick our sandwiches, drink and dessert (yes, you can get a Matterhorn Macaroon). We were also given gifts. We received a Disney pin commemorating the Walking in Walt’s Footsteps tour with moving pieces. And we got a button that we wore during the tour with our name on it.

The “Walk in Walt’s Disneyland Footsteps” tour is pricey. But when you consider the three hours guided through the park, the stops at Walt’s Apartment and Club 33, and lunch the tour was well worth the expense. And now that I am back in Betweenland, my memories of this tour help me feel connected even stronger to my beloved Disneyland Park.

No comments:

Post a Comment